Ottawa: Canadian confidence in this country’s police forces and court systems have rebounded from dismal confidence levels in 2012.
The latest Angus Reid Global (ARG) survey on perceptions of crime, safety and justice in shows Canadians are feeling a little safer than they were two years ago, and significantly safer than they felt two decades ago.
The poll also shows public confidence in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and municipal police forces, and the courts has also increased – in some cases, almost doubled – in the two years since a series of well-chronicled failures in the eyes of Canadians drastically reduced faith in these institutions.
• Confidence in the RCMP increased from 38 per cent in 2012 to 67 per cent in 2014.
• Municipal forces are also seeing an increase of confidence in the eyes of the public – from 40 per cent two years ago to 63 per cent today.
• A majority still do not have faith in Canada’s criminal courts. Two-in-five (40%) report having a lot of or complete confidence in the criminal courts (up from 19% in 2012). The Supreme Court of Canada fares better, earning the confidence of nearly half (48%) of Canadians.
Perceptions on Crime:
Canadians surveyed also report perceptions of less crime in their communities, while fewer say they have been a victim of a crime in the last two years that required police intervention.
In 2012, the same number of Canadians (39%) each said there had either been an increase or no change in the amount of crime in their own communities over the last five years, while 12 per cent said there had been a decrease.
Today, 30 per cent of Canadians say crime in their communities has increased in the last five years, while 40 per cent report no change, and 14 per cent report a decrease.
Both the 2012 and 2014 data also show a significant decrease in perceptions increases in crime in individual communities over 1994, when ARG also studied this issue.
Similarly, both the two-year and the twenty-year trend line show declining numbers of Canadians surveyed say they have been recent victims of crime that involved police response, from 25 per cent in 1994, to half that at (13%) in 2012, and less than ten per cent in 2014.